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Human Hardships

Zeus, the king of the Gods, is often referred to as a tyrant. There
are many reasons for this characterization of him. Many times, he would
inflict hardships on humans that they would not enjoy. The biggest
hardships that Zeus inflicted on humans were: the birth of Pandora, the
great flood, and the splitting of the sexes.

The birth of Pandora is an interesting story. Basically, she is Zeus’
response to Prometheus’ trick of stealing the fire. She is created by
Zeus, with the help of some of the other Gods. He gave “them Evil in
exchange for fire, Their very own evil to love and embrace.” He had
Hephaistos mold some clay in the shape of a beautiful, desirable virgin.

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Then, Athena made some clothes and Aphrodite made her beautiful. Hermes
gave her a “bitch mind and a cheating heart.” Pandora was then delivered
to Epimetheus. Once Pandora was part of the world, she took her jar and
scattered all the miseries that “spell sorrow for men.” However, she left
something in the jar, and that something is called “Hope.” It was stuck
under the lip of the jar. She then put the lid back on tightly. The
things she poured out included ills, torment, pain, disease, anguish, and
pestilence, among other things. Pandora marks the beginning of suffering
for mankind. She symbolizes man’s desires and by creating woman, Zeus has
made man’s life harder. This type of suffering represents man’s never-
ending quest for perfection. Man is always trying to find the perfect
woman, and if it weren’t for Pandora, man would not experience this type of
desire.In addition to the sexual desire Pandora creates, she is also the
beginning of cheating and lying among the sexes.

The second hardship that Zeus inflicts on the humans is the great
flood. At first, Zeus was going to burn the world, but he decided that
heaven might suffer from that as well, so he decided to drown all living
things. Out of the flood, only two people survive, Deucalion and Pyrrha.

Zeus locked up the North wind and the West wind and let the South wind run
wild; carrying massive rains everywhere it went. Neptune, the god of
water, also helped Zeus flood the earth. He had all the seas and all the
rivers erupt and overflow onto the land. Once the earth was covered with
water, Zeus let up and the sun began to dry things out. Deucalion and
Pyrrha, on top of a mountain, saw this start to happen and they received a
message from Heaven. The message said to throw the bones of the mother
behind them. They started to throw rocks behind them and the rocks turned
into humans, and they repopulated the earth. The flood represents nature’s
ability to defeat mankind. This story serves as a constant reminder that,
not only Zeus, but nature as well, can hurt, and ultimately destroy,
mankind.

The last hardship is the splitting of the two sexes, as described in
Plato’s book, Symposium. This created the desire we have for the opposite
sex. The two sexes, who used to be one, longed to be one again, and
therefore want nothing but to be with each other. Also, by Zeus splitting
the human in half, took away much of the human’s strength. He did this so
that humans would not revolt against the gods.

Pandora, the flood, and the splitting of the humans are the hardships
that Zeus inflicts on the humans. He does this because, in each of the
circumstances, humans “misbehave.” They either disrespect or mistreat Zeus
in some way that angers or annoys him. For this, humans are punished by
Zeus.

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